Al Boenker Insurance Blog - Deer Car Accidents in Texas: how to avoid it and what to do after
Recent data from Highway Loss Data Institute of Insurance, claims from 2006 through 2018 the number of deer-related accidents increases in November.
Numbers are wary but you still have time to get informed and see how you can avoid a deer-vehicle collision. In addition, what can we do if you or a friend end up in that situation?
Keep reading to know more!
- What you should do after hitting a deer?
- What to do if you hit a deer and it's still alive?
- Is hitting a deer an at-fault accident?
- What states have the majority of deer related accidents?
- What can you do to prevent deer accidents?
- Does Deer Hunting reduce car accidents?
What you should do after hitting a deer?
Here are a few steps to follow if you hit a deer:
- Call 911 to report the accident. This may be used as evidence for your insurance company.
- Call your insurance company to report the collision as soon as possible.
- If you are 100% sure the deer is dead, you could remove it from the roadway to prevent another collision.
What to do if you hit a deer and it's still alive?
- Never try to help a deer by yourself. Injured or wounded deer may be dangerous or have aggressive behavior.
- According to Texas Parks & Wildlife, after calling law enforcement and you believe the deer is still alive, call your game warden immediately.
- Never take the deer with you, it's illegal.
- Another option is to contact Texas Parks and Wildlife at (512) 389-4505 or click here Texas Parks & Wildlife and let the officials handle it.
Is hitting a deer an at-fault accident?
Unfortunately, there isn't a simple yes or no answer. When we talk about a deer-vehicle collision, in fact two kinds of coverage could work depending on the situation. Here are some options that could apply:
Comprehensive Insurance.- this coverage protects you against fire, flood, vandalism, deer accidents or any damage out of human control. Comprehensive coverage could work if you hit a deer, not because of a deer.
Example: you're on the road and unexpectedly hit a deer, comprehensive coverage could help you and there proof of who is at fault isn't needed.
*At-fault insurance applies when you hit pets or farm animals such as a cow or horse. In that case, the owner of the animal could cover your damages if was the owner's animal fault.
But what happens if your car is damaged because of a deer? Let's suppose you swerve and crash into a light post or hit another car, in that case, your collision coverage would kick in. Collision coverage covers you against accidents with another car or object.
If you wonder "Is it safer to hit a deer or swerve?" Our advice is to avoid swerving. The main reasons of injuries and fatal car accidents is because drivers swerved for an animal to prevent a "tragedy" but in fact, something worse could occur.
What states have the majority of deer-vehicle collision?
- West Virginia
Until 2017 Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania lead the motor vehicle crash deaths in collisions with animals list.
What can you do to prevent deer accidents?
- Drive carefully and check your car lights. It's important to have a clear and bright view.
- Understand deer behavior: they have specifics periods to migrate and specific hours too.
- We know, on the road is more likely to drive fast but be aware of deer signals and check your speed. Always wear a seat belt.
- Be sure that your car brake works well.
- Never try to swerve around a deer, most of the fatal car accidents occurred when people do that. You can lose control or hit another car.
- Stay alert at night. If you see a deer grazing near the road it's more likely you may see another one along the road.
There are specific times when most deer accidents occur: at night, dusk and dawn hours. Too early and too late, so beware if you drive during those times. Considerer how the weather is. Unfavorable road conditions such as wintry, wet or foggy weather doesn't allow for a good vision.
7.Note the place and time
It's not a certainty, but deer-car accidents are more likely to happen in rural areas, suburbs, near parks, national parks, and nature preserves.
- Get the right auto insurance coverage.
Accidents happen and sometimes we can't avoid them, but we can protect ourselves.
In Texas it's the law to have auto insurance. However, the minimum liability coverage could not offer coverage if you hit a deer. Ask your agent about "Full Coverage" with comprehensive & collision.
Read more: Fall Driving Tips in Texas
Does Deer Hunting reduce car accidents?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, deer-vehicle collision (DVC) peaks from October to December in relation to hunting season.
Overall, animal accidents increase during November and then drops off in December and January. In 2017 in agreement with Fatality Statistics of IIHS says that April-December are the most dangerous months for DVC. It's related to the breeding season during October and November, while May and June as yearly deer disperse from their birth areas.
In shorter words, during the spring and fall during migration (Wildlife Damage Management Fact Sheet Series "Reducing Deer-Vehicle Crashes").
Read more: Myth or Fact: Car Accidents Increase on Holiday Season?
Some media attribute DVC with the breeding season but The Center of Wildlife Ethics says that most of the dead deer on the road aren't mature, which means they aren't antlered. So, breeding season may not be the only reason why deer run into the road.
Overall, there are many reasons why deer-vehicle collisions occur and we cannot blame one of them. It's not only the different types of seasons, but it includes driver behavior and missing roadways signals.
Regardless of the month, the time of the day or the area you live, it's not a revelation that you need to be cautious, wear seat belts or slow down during peak months. Be sure to check your insurance coverage and ensure you and your vehicle are covered enough!
Talk with our insurance agent to take advisory and get the best auto insurance quote in Texas.